In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the warlord Iida Sadamu surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard.
The youth Takeo has been brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people who have taught him only the ways of peace. But unbeknownst to him, his father was a celebrated assassin and a member of the Tribe, an ancient network of families with extraordinary, preternatural skills. When Takeo's village is pillaged, he is rescued and adopted by the mysterious Lord Otori Shigeru. Under the tutelage of Shigeru, he learns that he too possesses the skills of the Tribe. And, with this knowledge, he embarks on a journey that will lead him across the famed nightingale floor-'and to his own unimaginable destiny...
An international bestseller, Across the Nightingale Floor is the first book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn.
Lord Shigeru, heir to the Otori clan, faces hostility from the shrewdly ambitious Iida family in the East and base treachery at home from his uncles. His noble education and training as a warrior have prepared him for leadership and combat, but fate and Shigeru's youthful determination bring the Three Countries to war, and he must endure terrible and tragic defeat at thebattle of Yaegahara... and its brutal consequences. Heaven's Net is Wide is the first and last Tale, which both closes the circle and introduces new readers to the strange and beautiful world of the Otori. It is an epic historical fantasy of revenge and betrayal, honour and loyalty, beauty and passion and the overwhelming power of love.
The second book in the Tales of the Otori trilogy continues the epic story of Otori Takeo and Shirakawa Kaede, the young lovers whose fate is played out in an ancient Oriental world, where ritualised codes of high honour counter the cruelty of savage bloodfeuds. Takeo has pledged his life to the Tribe, a secret clan of spies and assassins who claim his legendary supernatural skills for their own ruthless purposes, in doing so he must deny his birthright as an Otori lord and his love for Kaede. If he does not serve them, the Tribe will kill him. Kaede, separated from Takeo, must use her intelligence, beauty and cunning to assert her place in a world of allpowerful men who must never know that she is carrying Takeo's child. In growing from boy to man, Takeo must make a choice and the dangerous path he undertakes is a journey of high adventure, treachery and passion that establishes this extraordinary trilogy as one of the most brilliant and enduring works of modern fiction. GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW, the sequel to ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, is one of the most eagerlyawaited novels of 2003. Lian Hearn has created a brilliantly imagined culture. Here is epic storytelling whose appeal crosses genres, genders and generations.
In the third volume of the phenomenal series that began with the bestselling ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR and then GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW, the teenage lovers, Takeo and Kaede, are now married. But their destinies are determined by forces beyond their control. Takeo leads an army into battle, and Kaede, far from his protection, is treacherously betrayed. Their love will survive until death which, in the savage, beautiful world of the Otori, is only ever a lightning swordstroke away. Lian Hearn is creating an imaginary world every bit as absorbing as Middle Earth and Hogwarts . . . This is the same mysterious oriental landscape that beguiled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon audiences Guardian Quite simply the best story of magic, love, sex, revenge and suspense since Philip Pullman. Independent on Sunday